Gartner and IDC have both published their quarterly reports on the size of the PC market in the first quarter of 2019, and they’ve both agreed: about 58.5 million systems were shipped. The two companies use somewhat different definitions of PCs—for Gartner they’re desktops, laptops, and “ultramobile premiums” such as the Surface Pro, but exclude Chromebooks and iPads; for IDC they’re desktops, laptops, and workstations, including Chromebooks, but don’t include any tablets at all—but this quarter they’ve ended up at almost exactly the same number of units sold.
The two analysts don’t, however, agree on who the top seller was. IDC puts HP top, at 13.6 million systems (0.8 percent fewer than the same quarter a year ago) and a 23.2 percent market share, with Lenovo in second place, at 13.4 million systems (up 1.8 percent) and a 23.0 percent share of the market. Gartner, in contrast, puts Lenovo top at 13.2 million systems (up 6.9 percent), and a 22.5 percent share, and HP in second, with 12.8 million systems (up 0.8 percent) and a 21.9 percent share.
Both companies put Dell in third place, with around 10 million systems shipped, and Apple in fourth place, with 4 million systems sold. Gartner then puts Asus fifth, just behind Apple at 3.6 million systems shipped. IDC instead gives the nod to Acer, again at 3.6 million machines sold.
Within the US, Gartner’s has HP and Dell neck and neck in first and second, Apple and Lenovo tied for third and fourth, and Microsoft still hanging on to fifth place, with sales of 0.45 million Surfaces for the quarter.
Both Gartner and IDC say that there’s continued influence from the shortage of Intel processors, caused by the company’s long-delayed transition to 10nm manufacturing. That situation leaves Intel’s 14nm manufacturing facilities overburdened. Gartner analysts said that these concerns disrupted the growth seen in the second quarter last year, as the delays prompted Intel to focus on higher margin products, with PC vendors following suit. IDC similarly cited the shortage of Intel chips at the low end as partly to blame for the market decline. To the extent that low-end chips were available, the PC companies seem to be favoring putting them in Chromebooks rather than Windows machines.
Both firms also say that smaller PC vendors were more affected than larger ones, suggesting that Intel is giving priority to its biggest customers.
Countering this effect somewhat was stronger than expected commercial desktop sales, as companies continue their Windows 10 refresh cycle. However, Gartner’s analysts feel that this may have peaked. Going forward, greater adoption of AMD’s processors is expected to reduce the impact of supply constraints.